Easy DIY Pallet Wood Shelves

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How to Make DIY Pallet Wood Shelves

It’s time for this month’s Thrift Store Challenge! I’ve teamed up with some blogging friends to bring you this fun blog hop! Thanks so much to Tara at Stilettos and Shiplap and Emily at Le Cultivateur for hosting!

The Rules

The rules of this challenge are simple. Find a thrift item and turn it into something you can use in your home decor. It can be from a thrift store, a garage sale, or (like my item this month) the curb or dumpster.

My Thrift Find

Our neighbors recently did a lot of remodeling on their home. The construction company unloaded one of those giant trash bins in their driveway while they worked. One day when we arrived home I saw a pallet sitting at the top of the dumpster.

I asked Eric if he would be willing to snag it for me. He thought I was a little crazy and didn’t think he’d do it, but next thing I knew it was leaning up against the side of our house. I love that man.

Styled pallet wood shelves

How to Make Pallet Wood Shelves

Pallets are awesome because you can find them for free (check Facebook Marketplace) and you can do a lot with them. Pallet shelves are one project you can use pallets for and they’re not hard to make. Plus, I love the rustic farmhouse feel they can add to any space.


Circular hand saw or table saw
Palm sander and sandpaper
Pre-stain and Stain (optional)
Anchors and screws
Cordless power drill

Where to Cut

You’re going to cut your pallet into thirds. Lay your pallet out and mark where to make your cuts.

If you have a table saw you can set the saw for the proper depths and then run the pallet through. Then repeat on the opposite side.

If you’re using a hand saw you’ll just saw through each of the four beams.

Here’s a visual!

how to cut pallets

You’ll notice there’s no bottom piece on the parts you’ll be using for the shelves. This is where the center piece comes in. You’ll need your crowbar and a hammer to remove the top two pieces of wood. They’re the exact size you need to fit on the bottom of each shelf.

Start with your crowbar in the middle and work outside. We started outside first and it was splitting the wood. If you start in the center, the ends easily pop off.

how to remove boards from pallet

Flip the boards over and remove the old nails. Then, nail the boards onto the bottom of each shelf.

Sanding and Stain

Now your shelves are ready for sanding. I just used my rechargeable palm sander to go over each one and smooth them out.

If you want to stain them, this is the next step. I recommend using a pre-stain first otherwise that unfinished wood will soak up your stain and it will take a lot. Plus the stain may be splotchy and uneven if you don’t pre-stain.

I decided to leave mine unfinished.

How to Hang

When you’re ready to hang your shelves make sure you use anchors. We used ones that would hold up to 30 pounds.

Before hanging, drill screws through each section of the pallet wood shelves measuring halfway in the center from left to right and top to bottom.

Hold the shelf up where you plan to attach it and press the tips of screws into the wall. This will mark where your anchors go. Use a level to make sure the marks are even across. Drill pilot holes where the anchors will go. Screw anchors in.

drilling anchors into wall

Line the shelf up with the anchors and drill the screws into the anchors, attaching the shelf securely to the wall.

Different Ways to Style Pallet Wood Shelves

There are so many ways you can style pallet wood shelves depending on what space they’ll be used in. If you’re using them in a playroom you can use them to store books.

If you’re using them in a boy’s room you can use them to display trophies and even attach hooks to the front to hang medals on.

In a girl’s room, you could line them with tall skinny vases and put faux flowers in them and maybe attach pom-pom garland across the front.

We decided to hang one of our two shelves in our bedroom (we’ll use the other one in another space soon and I’ll be sure to share it here!). I decided to style it with my faux tulips, some candles and my autographed Home Body book by Joanna Gaines.

Joanna Gaines Homebody book on shelf

The shelves were pretty deep so I used three boxes to help with height. I put one under the book, and one under each candle holder. One of the candle holders wasn’t even with the other so I had to use thin make-up compact to go on top of that box.

boxes in pallet shelf

Then I began arranging the tulips one at a time, building on each layer to make them look full. I started on the left side and then moved to the right. Tulips naturally layover so I bent them slightly so they would look more authentic.

woman arranging tulips on shelf

I’ve been wanting a seating area in our bedroom for a while so I asked my hubby to bring up our dining chairs and then I moved one of our side tables in the center to give a feel for what it would look like.

seating area with pallet shelf

I think I’ll be in the market for some chairs soon!

Thanks for hanging out with me today! And as always, please feel free to comment with any questions or thoughts and shoot me an email if you have a DIY you’d like to see here!

Blog Hop

Now be sure to check out what these talented gals came up with!

Easy DIY Pallet Wood Shelves 1
Terrie at Decorate and More with Tip
Easy DIY Pallet Wood Shelves 2
Jessica at Jessica B. Simmons
Easy DIY Pallet Wood Shelves 3
Emily at Le Cultivateur




Easy DIY Pallet Wood Shelves 4
Shae at Sweet Southern Grace
Easy DIY Pallet Wood Shelves 5
Tara at Stilettos and Shiplap


Cabinet Door Turned DIY Wood Tray

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DIY Pallet Wood Shelves

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